• Bound
    2 minutes 5 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008


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Bound Reviews

Page 1 of 71

Super Reviewer

May 24, 2007
A mobster's moll and her lesbian lover hatch a plan to rob $2 million from his gang. Bound was the debut of the Wachowski brothers and is a very slick post-Tarantino crime thriller that's heavily influenced by Film Noir. They take both plot elements and visual trappings from classic detective movies and mix in a sexual affair that no doubt makes this film very popular with the Thelma & Louise set. In fact the early scenes of seduction were no doubt rather shocking to mainstream audiences back in the day but now they seem a little clunky and contrived. Once the scam is put into action however, there are plenty of twists and turns to the plot, provided by Joe Pantaliano's hissably sexist thug and his failure to behave as they meticulously predicted. It's a kind of "battle of the sexes" set within the world of organized crime and although Jennifer Tilly's acting skills are rather limited, her breathless sex appeal papers over the crack in her performance. The Wachowski's provide some attractive visuals and although it does feel a little dated, it's certainly one of the best of the crop of Tarantino bandwagon jumpers of the 1990s and fans of the likes of True Romance should definitely give it a look.

Super Reviewer

November 20, 2007
After their excellent original script for the Richard Donner movie Assassins was significantly altered by re-writes, The Wachowskis (Andy and Larry (now Lana)) were given the chance to write and direct a movie of their own, and not only that, but with free-reign as well.

The result is this nifty little convention tweaking neo-noir crime thriller Corky is a tough ex-con who, newly released from prison, begins work as a painter and plumber working out of her new apartment she's renovating. She lives next door to Violet, the disgruntled and fed up girlfriend of psycho sleazeball mobster Caesar. Violet dreams of leaving her current life and starting over. After beginning a clandestine affair with Corky, the two hatch a plot to steal $2 million from the mob and make Violet's dream a reality.

Despite the superficiality of the plot, this is a slick and clever little thriller that takes something old and puts a nice twist on it. The action is intense, the atmosphere great, and, best of all, there's great characters who are wonderfully developed, and the way that the affair between Violet and Corky is handled is one of the best and most realistic lesbian relationships ever done in a mainstream film. Bravo.

Strong writing only takes a character so far, but thankfully, these characters are brought to life by solid, believable performances from a stellar cast which includes Jennifer Tilly as Violet, Gina Gershon as Corky, and Joe Pantoliano as Caesar. The actual heist plot gets rather involved, but it's fairly easy to follow, and there's an unbelievable amount of suspense going on as things progress, and I found myself on the edge of my seat more than once.

Give this one a watch. It's a snazzy genre film that tweaks formula, is quite tense, and handles lesbianism in a way that unfortunately isn't done as often as it should be. Also, the Wachowski's original script for Assassins can be found online. I highly recommend reading that as well.
paul o.
paul o.

Super Reviewer

December 2, 2012
Awesome and rad would best words to describe the story of the film. With memorable scenes of twisted murder, Bound shows how the Wachowski brothers don't need millions of dollars to deliver a fantastic story.

Super Reviewer

July 1, 2012
It has been said many a time that there is nothing new under the sun. Surely, as we race through the 21st century, this axiom may well hold a modicum of truth, especially where the arts are concerned. There is no great impressionist movement, or realist movement, and in the case of film... the major impact films seem to all be swiped from comic books (and even then we are offered reboots of other comic book films).

So here we come back to the Wachowski Bros. first film, the 1996 pseudo noir thriller Bound, which contains a Blood Simple double dealing plot that also pays homage to earlier mob based films as well as adding a bit of dark humor for seasoning. One may argue that you've seen this film before (or parts of it), and you would not be wrong - but where Bound stands out is in the juggling of the mixed genres. The Bros. do a fine job of keeping the pacing tight, even when the script runs off the boards a bit in the final quarter - the viewer is still kept at the edge of your seat.

Helping the unbelievable seem almost real are standout performances by the three main characters - and what interesting character studies they are: from Gina Gershon's macho yet somehow vulnerable lesbian act, to Joe Pantoliano's mid level mob thug who expertly ping pongs from manic to an edgy calm. He is flawed, riddled with paranoia and greed that make him near Shakespearian. These are very good performances, but it is Jennifer Tilly who really makes the film sing. Perfectly cast as Joe's girlfriend, complete with that requisite tiny voice, she portrays a woman who knows exactly where her place is in the world and offers no excuses for taking advantage of what is thrown her way. As the byzantine story unfolds her strength of character shows in spades and gives the film an extra level to enjoy.

The film has some beautiful lines and utilizes the close up very well, using it for impact in a non-intrusive way. The paper thin walls play an important part in the film and the Bros. do a nice job of filming - showing the walls to be a barrier to things almost but not quite within reach.

A very solid 8.5 in my book.

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2011
"I can fuck someone I just met. But to steal I have to know someone like I know myself."

Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.

Intriguing twist on a solid genre, the film noir, with gangster moll Tilly seducing lesbian ex-con Gershon and sparking a plot to rob the mob and get away with it all. Great camera work, production design (recalling a graphic novel look) and a better than expected plot line. Sexy, hot and all attitude best sums up the baby-voiced Tilly and sensuous Gershon. When Jennifer Tilly was playing Gina Gershon like a musical instrument and her toes curled up, it was cinema magic. This movie is hot from start to finish. You just know something is up in this brilliant film noir, but it's hard to focus with all that sexual energy floating in the air. Joe Pantoliano was absolutely fantastic, and it was interesting seeing Christopher Meloni as a bad guy. The cinematography was just marvelous. Directed by newcomers The Wachowski Brothers, Larry and Andy, this was an excellent movie all around.
Aditya Gokhale
Aditya Gokhale

Super Reviewer

November 14, 2010
The Wachowski Brothers, the duo known mostly for the Matrix Trilogy, began their directorial career with a bang with their 1996 debut, "Bound". This sexy thriller is an impressive effort in creating a first-rate neo-noir with some great acting from most of the cast and some masterful direction of a clever script.

Gina Gershon stars as Corky, a lesbian ex-con, just out of prison after serving 5 years and who now works as a plumber and painter and is busy doing a job in an empty apartment in a building. The apartment right next door is occupied by a mafioso money-launderer, Caesar (Joe Pantoliano) and his voluptuous moll, Violet (Jennifer Tilly) who incidentally also happens to be a lesbian. There is instant attraction between the two right from the first instance of their meeting in the elevator. A torrid affair soon begins and during one of their secret meetings, Violet reveals to Corky that she wants out of this whole mafia affair.

She tells her of a man named Shelly who worked for the family and had been skimming off some money from the business. He had about $ 2 million kept aside which he planned to run away with. But the gang had discovered his motives and got the money off of him. Caesar was supposed to hold on to the money until the mob boss, Gino Marzonne (Richard C. Sarafian) collects it from him the following day.

Together, Violet and Corky hatch an ingenious plan to steal these $ 2 million from Caesar so that Violet can fulfill her wish of getting away from Caesar and the mafia and she and Corky can continue their relationship comfortably.

The plan seems picture perfect, knowing Caesar's nature and the mutual hatred between Caesar and Gino's headstrong, psychotic son, Johnnie (Christopher Meloni). But, of course, certain things don't work out exactly as planned and things go horribly wrong, as is usually the case with such thrillers involving con jobs and few characters. That, in no way, means that the film is predictable though.

The directors duo succeed in telling a taut, suspenseful tale with clever situational twists to the proceedings. Almost the entire film takes place indoors, in a single apartment, giving it a classic claustrophobic atmosphere. There is some excessive Tarantino-esque mob violence which also comes off as darkly comic. Acting is superb from most of the cast.

Joe Pantoliano is splendid as the mob money-launderer who always does his best to please his bosses.

Jennifer Tilly is simply amazing as the sexy, manipulating moll who is in with the mafia for her own selfish interests and doesn't fail to charm with her buxom appearance and her seductive voice and mannerisms.

Gina Gershon is fantastic as the butch lesbian plumbing woman, but one wishes she had some more screen time in this film.

Another notably good performance is that of Christopher Meloni as Johnnie who is terrific in the couple of scenes he has in the film.

Do watch "Bound". It is a neat, enjoyable thriller, riveting from start to finish, rife with edge-of-the-seat moments and is clearly my best pick of the Wachowski Brothers' filmography. Hitchcock would've been proud!
familiar s

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2010
I found it to be just a bit above above average crime thriller.

Super Reviewer

February 8, 2007
This is one of the most intelligent and erotic thriller films ever made. The story is very engaging and the direction is absolutely incredible, but the whole lesbian thing really overshadows all of that, which severely limits the impact that this movie could have had. Two female leads, Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon, did well in their experience on lesbian action scenes that made these look bloody hot.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 14, 2009
The Wachowski brother's debut is a fantastic sexy thriller and is easily their best film to date. It's beautifully filmed with some great performances, particularly Pantoliano's!
Jason S

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2009
There is an interesting movie in here somewhere. joey Pants is cool as the baddie and the ladies aren't bad...
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

July 1, 2006
Corky: If there's one thing I can't stand about sleeping with women, it's all the fucking mind-reading.

The first movie from the Wachowski brothers. Even before the Matrix series, these guys knew how they wanted to show off their style. As they have claimed, heavily drawing off of noir films from Billy Wilder and the kind of neo-noir style seen in Frank Miller's Sin City comic series, this is a neo-noir centered around two women who plan a scheme to steal money from the mob.

The story isn't necessarily original, but it's well done. The Wachowski's bring it to life through the creativity of their visual style to go with the low budget of the movie. Every set is used to it's fullest, making use of the various objects throughout the room, the noises things make, the different angles in which to emphasize various aspects, it's all well done.

Back to the story, these aren't just two women. Gina Gershon is Corky, an ex-con and lesbian who immediately attracts the attention of Violet, played by Jennifer Tilly. Violet is the mistress of a mob launderer, Ceaser played by Joe Pantoliano, living next door to an apartment Corky is working on.

Corky: What are you doing?
Violet: Isn't it obvious? I'm trying to seduce you.

These two hit it off, and while I can't exactly relate to a lesbian relationship, from what I have read, a feminist sex educator and writer was involved, and at the time, the film was well received in terms of the realistic relationship.

Once the crime plot gets becomes the main portion of the film, which follows some very erotic scenes involving the women, the movie becomes much more tense and is very well paced in terms of delivering the story, while keeping things interesting.

The three leads do a good job, of course Joe Pants in particular. The way in which the story turns on itself is very effective, and keeps the whole thing fresh.

Along with Wilder, the Wachowski's thriller aspects echo other directors such as Hitchcock, DePalma, and the Coen Brother's Blood Simple.

The whole movie is very entertaining, mixing thrills, eroticism, some dark humor, and great style.

Corky: For me, stealing's always been a lot like sex. Two people who want the same thing: they get in a room, they talk about it. They start to plan. It's kind of like flirting. It's kind of like... foreplay, 'cause the more they talk about it, the wetter they get. The only difference is, I can fuck someone I've just met. But to steal? I need to know someone like I know myself.

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2008
Wow, the Wachowskis can actually write fun stuff, as long as they don't try to get into philosophical/political stuff, an area in which they couldn't be more clueless. Gershon and Tilly are really great, lesbo hotness aside. And Joe Pantoliano is the scumy rotten guy by default.
Kylie B

Super Reviewer

April 2, 2007
I don't usually like Mob movies, but superb performances from all (especially Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon) really drew me in. I caught this by chance, and I'm very glad I did.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 25, 2006
Hitchcock with lesbians, for lesbians.
John B

Super Reviewer

January 3, 2010
Quite..err..thought provoking. Beyond the mere pleasure of seeing Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly "engaging" one another, this is a well polished piece. Sexy and entertaining.
Alec B

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2008
Ok The matrix is a lot of fun, but this is the great Wachowski brothers film to watch. The last half of this film is full of unbearable suspense and the script is pretty tight (Bound if you will . . .) from the standpoint that almost everything that happens is pretty believable. Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly give great and bold performances. The have some pretty hardcore love scenes, but I wouldn't call them graphic. It's nice to see a film with 3-dimensional gay characters. This movie deserves way more attention than it gets.
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2010
I admire this film about two women who happen to meet and bound for each other in the end. A lot of cat and mouse play, neo noir elements, trust, betrayle, and strong lesbian themes as Susie Bright points out(also a consultant)
"A movie that is "wet" (feminine) as opposed to "hard" (masculine)". Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, and Joe Pantoliano shine in the Wachowski brothers picture "Bound".
Lord Naseby
Lord Naseby

Super Reviewer

August 14, 2011
This is the movie Johan S. wanted me to watch. Here it is.

In the movie 'Seed of Chucky' a half decent-at-points self aware slasher sequel, Jennifer Tilly plays herself and one of the killer dolls Tiffany. When she asks a few fans of hers in the movie what their favorite movie starring her is, this one is always the one that they mention. And it's not for the acting chops or the character driven plot. Read the synopsis if you don't know what I mean.

Acting/characters: Seriously, Jennifer Tilly is an alright actress but her 85% whisper voice gets a little irritating especially when she spends 85% of the movie whispering! It got a little irritating after a while. I don't mind Jennifer Tilly as an actress, but her voice delivery can get a bit irritating. I thought that Joe Pantoliano who played Caesar (who would go on to star in The Matrix as Cypher) and Gena Gershon who played Corky were definitely the best in the film. Tilly was alright but not as good as the two of them. I have no major complaints about the acting in general. It was pretty good all around. 8.5/10

Plot: It is an original plot I must say. it kept my interest throughout the entire film. What's even more interesting is that this one was pre-matrix for the Wachowskis so they were actually trying to make something original as opposed to another Matrix (or Matrixesque) film. It was a good plot that had some good character development and it was really entertaining. I think that is all it was meant to be: entertaining. If it tried to be something more I missed it I guess. But it was decently entertaining. 8.5/10

Screenplay: It wasn't too bad. It didn't have any lines that stood out to me at all (except for when Violet asked Caesar "Who you gonna call?" to which I dutifully responded "GHOSTBUSTERS!") it didn't have any really cringe-worthy lines in there which I really appreciate. It was just okay. Noting outstanding but nothing too horrible either. It was simply okay. 8/10

Likableness: I enjoyed it well enough. Was it something that I would have watched if it wasn't suggested to me? Probably not. But I am glad that I have seen it especially since it was interesting to see some pre-Matrix Wachowski stuff. It was a decently entertaining film that I could watch again. It was nothing utterly outstanding but I enjoyed it just the same. would I suggest it to people? If you like crime films then yes. Otherwise...maybe. It depends on the person. But it was alright. 8.5/10

Final Score: 33.5/40 83% (N)
Tomatometer Rating: 91%
Tomatometer Rating if my review was added: 91%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. This was film that convinced the studio of the Wachowski's talent as directors so that they could make the The Matrix, a screenplay/story they had come up with during the filming of their first screenplay, Assassins.

2. Joe Pantoliano was instructed by the Wachowski Brothers to watch The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and base his Cesar character on Humphrey Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs.

3. The film was financed with the understanding that Jennifer Tilly was to play the role of Corky. The actress playing Violet dropped out of the project shortly before shooting began, however. At this point Gina Gershon became available to do the film. At first she was to play Violet; but since she was better suited to Corky, she and Tilly switched roles.

4. Joe Pantoliano later said that his role as Caesar was his favorite role.

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2010
I really expected a different movie when I ordered this a little more "Matrix"-ish or "Speed racer"-ish This plays a little more "Red Shoe Diaries"-ish¦ But better. Gina Gershon, wow. Less I digress, are those really her undulating abs (or body double) in the bedroom scene if so impressive. Jenifer Tilly personally does nothing for me as an actress and is always the same character. The mob pot of the story is a less well fleshed out Saprano's but this was made 3 years earlier. I'll mark it down as a guilty pleasure watching Gershon as the hot butch lesbian just out of prison.
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